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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Welcome to the board. Sorry to hear of your accident. Is your fracture in the lumbar or thoracic area of the spine? Often moving from one position to another, like lying to sitting, or sitting to standing is the most painful part. Did he give you meds to help deal with the pain? I would think you probably have some muscle trauma as well as the fracture.

It is important for any back injury to keep walking. It is more helpful for your healing if you take several small walks rather than one longer one. Distance isn't important. The point of walking is to get freshly oxygenated blood to the injured area, and take away lactic acid and other waste...and to keep the spinal nerves stretched out. Taking to bed doesn't do anything much good...and, it can result in bone loss. But it is important to recline when not on your feet. Try to limit your time spent sitting to 15-20 minutes at a time. Sitting puts 30% more pressure on the discs than either standing or lying down. When there is an injury, it is normal for the muscles to tighten and/or go into spasm. This is a protective action that is the body's attempt to keep the spine as stable as possible, despite an injury. When you lie down and get out from under the pressure of gravity, it gives the muscles a chance to relax a little and ease up their tension.

Drink lots of water and eat a calcium-rich diet while you are healing. If you are taking pain medication, be sure to watch your diet as the pain meds can be very constipating. Your doctor probably instructed you to take calcium and a vit. D supplement.

You should not be doing so much that you pain level increases more than a very small amount. If you wake up the next day and are much worse off, back off the activity for a day or two.

Be sure to use good body mechanics. Avoid any activity that involves bending or twisting at the waist, pushing, pulling and reaching up overhead or to the side. Avoid riding on a rough road, or in anything that will be bouncy or jerk you around. If possible, you should probably avoid riding or driving in a car as much as possible....while the fracture is healing.

You will probably need a course of PT after you have repaired the fracture...I think that is fairly standard practice. I guess it can take up to 12 weeks for a vertebral fracture to heal and it can be painful for quite awhile. Hope you heal quickly and without complication.

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